Fear is a tool of the devil, he uses it in all kinds of ways. Fear of failure, fear of death, fear of the unknown, fear of rejection, fear of awkwardness just to name a few.
We make choices from fear that keep us from doing kingdom work. Fearful of talking to our neighbor, we guard our families and children from “the world” because of fear, we let fear keep us out of sketch places, we let fear keep us from speaking love to someone, doing love for someone. Words of a wise teacher remind us, “ The world isn’t to be feared, it’s the prize. “ I think I’ll say that again… the world is the prize! Our high schools are the prize, our middle schools are the prize, our elementary schools are the prize, our colleges are the prize, LGBT is the prize, our co-workers and the prize, our neighbors are the prize, the Poor are the prize, Muslims are the prize, and on and on. Those that we fear, are the prize. If satan can use fear to keep us from doing the work of Jesus, well then he wins. Wouldn’t it better to not let him win?
The word fear appears in the bible about 299 times. There are two definitions of the word listed.
Fear, “awe, dread and reverence”. This is the fear that Zacharias had when he saw the angel, this is the fear that the guards had who saw the stone rolled away from the tomb of Jesus, the fear of those present who saw Ananias struck dead, the same fear that was there in prison with Paul when God opened the jail doors and the fear Moses had when God called to him from a burning bush. It’s the fear, the reverence for God we should have during worship, a respect for our God, not because He will harm us, because He is Powerful and worthy of awe, dread and reverence.
The other fear word means “to be afraid”. This is the one in the devils toolbox. It is the fear that keeps us from doing Kingdom work. In Matthew 10, Jesus talks about it A LOT. In vs. 28, “do not fear those who kill the body for they are unable to kill the soul”. vs. 31, ” do not fear, you are more valuable than sparrows”.
Just recently I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I still find it strange to say those words in my head or out loud because of no family history, it comes as quite a shock. The day we found out and were leaving the doctor’s office, as we walked out thru the waiting room I wondered how many women that day, would get cancer news and be so afraid. I have none of that because of my understanding who God is, I’m His daughter, I belong to Him. Romans 8:15… “for you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons and daughters by which we cry out, “Abba!” Father!” See, I know the end of the story. Our end is all the same: death… we are all terminal, none of us are getting out of here alive and I know The King and what He promises if I believe and trust in Him. The opposite of fear is PEACE. Peace means we can trust Him, He has our best interest and we can do Kingdom work absent of fear. What we should fear, is not fear of death, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of etc…. I recently heard a quote, “Should we fear failure, or being successful at things that really don’t matter? ” Buddy Hoffman. This is a good reminder.
Let us not let Fear keep us from doing what’s important, what will matter at the end of this life is what we did for The King, that is all! “I fear no evil, for YOU are with me” Ps. 23